Flying Squirrels

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Jul 032018
 

Lichen, Truffles, and Juniper— Our flying squirrels were brought to the zoo as babies, orphaned when their nests were displaced.  Through a partnership with the San Diego Natural History Museum, US Fish and Wildlife, and Forestry Service, Big Bear Alpine Zoo educates the public about the uniqueness of our flying squirrels here in Big Bear. 

   

Living in high-elevation (between 4,600 and 7,550 feet), mixed-conifer forests dominated by Jeffrey pine, white fir and black oak, flying squirrels thrive in forests with big trees and closed-canopy cover. Their choice of habitat includes large snags (standing dead trees) that provide nesting cavities, downed logs that foster the growth of the truffles they eat, and understory cover that provides protection from predators. They have parachute-like panels of skin that stretch from wrist to ankle, allowing them to glide between trees.

Striped Skunk

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Jul 032018
 

Chai and Macha    Rescued in 2014.

These skunks have two stripes down each side joining into one at the back of the head.They are omnivorous and eat mostly insects, worms, snails, and mice. Most predatory animals leave the skunk alone for fear of being sprayed, except for the great horned owl which has a poor-to-nonexistent sense of smell. Striped skunks are pretty elusive, and these two are often hard to spot.

Screech Owls

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Jul 032018
 

Pumpkin – 

 

Western screech-owls eat mostly small mammals and large insects. Their diet varies with habitat and region. It includes many beetles, moths, other insects, as well as spiders, scorpions, centipedes; also many small mammals, such as mice, voles, pocket gophers. Screech-owls also eat small birds, lizards, snakes, frogs, and fish.

 

Their lifespan can be up to 13 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity.

Reptile House

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Jul 032018
 

Step into the Reptile House and see a wide variety of different types of snakes, lizards, turtles and other reptiles. All the cages are clearly marked and have signage describing the animal. 

NOTE: As you can see, most of our reptiles were donated or confiscated from people who tried to keep them as pets.  These animals typically do not make good pets, and the owners get tired of them. They are all lucky to have found a home here at our zoo.

Chincilla

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Jul 032018
 

Princess Bella –a female; was donated to the zoo in 2011;

They are best known for their fur used in making luxurious coats. In the 1900’s a ban was imposed on hunting and exporting of chinchillas. In some parts of the world they are still raised for their fur. Chinchillas eat bark, grasses and herbs. They do not drink much water as they get the moisture that they need from plants. They can have a lifespan in captivity of 15 to 20 years.

Lesser Gold Finch

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Jul 032018
 

Dean – male, age unknown

Dean was orphaned and hand raised at the zoo.  When it was time to be released back into the wild, it was evident to zoo staff that Dean was unable to fend for himself. Now Dean spends the days serenading the staff and guests with his singing. Lesser gold finches are mainly seed-eating songbirds, native to the Northern Hemisphere.  Finches come in many colors and have strong, stubby beaks ideally suited for cracking seeds and catching insects and drinking nectar.

Doves

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Jul 032018
 

Eidelweiss – female; white dove; rescued after a wedding release injury.

Lovey – gray dove

They are very common birds, found almost everywhere in North America and other countries.  White doves are specifically bred for their color and are sometimes released at weddings because of that color. White doves are actually a type of  pigeon. They mate for life. Doves are also hunted

Cottontails

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Jul 032018
 

Stevie – (a brush bunny) female born 2010; was rescued in 2010; born blind

Benjamin – (a cottontail) male born 2010; was rescued in 2011; injured / half blind

Both these rabbits are blind or almost blind and are kept here in comfort when they would surely die in the wild. They are found all over the world and have been able to adapt to locations such as desert, high mountains, swamps, farms and cities.  They are a source of food for many larger. They are vegetarians and eat lots of vegetables, fruits and grains.  They can live in underground dens and have many babies but only nurse them for five minutes a day!  They are weaned in three weeks and go on to have babies of their own. Their average lifespan in the wild is less than 3 years, in captivity they could live up to 8 years.